Concerns/Soreness/Neck/Pressure

Posted by mikeyp87 @mikeyp87, Oct 5 3:47pm

Hi, very random title I know. So just thought about all this stuff I had going on while the whole world is in an uproar. I’m pretty much on top of all my health, doctors, checks. For the longest, over 5+ years, I’ve always had this ongoing pain near my neck and upper shoulders. If I sleep the wrong way, or what it may have it can feel worst but that is what I chalk it up as. The only pain I would get for me in my stomach area, would be above my stomach. I’ve done a scope and they always try to give me PPI, they just don’t work for me. I feel as they make it worst. The only thing that might work is Pepcid if that or that other one that had a recall, which I stopped taking but that one worked for me it seemed (Zantac.) The pain around my upper chest, usually near the neck or shoulders never in the middle of the chest….. seems to be a problem for me. I push my neck forward, rotate my arms and always hear cracking…. It is not much relief but feels better. I’ve felt this pain to always be there. It go bad, and I had to do an MRI of the neck, very scary machine, so I did a stand up MRI. They said my neck was herniated in 2 or 3 parts. This test was about 2 years ago. Around the same time, as I went to my Cardiologist Dr.. We have done echo, over night halters, stress test (my last one was about late last year), everything but thank god everything comes out fine. They even sent me about 3 years to do a calcium spring test and it came back to a score of 0. I am overweight and have to lose about 50-65 pounds. Today I stand 255, about 5’7. They want me to be around 185-200. So that has always been work in progress for me…. But over the last two years, I was put on HBP medicine. I swapped around a bunch just because it seems as it never really lowered it. The latest and greatest I am on is Byoslic 10mg. I am trying the gym out and really getting on a kick to eat better to lose the weight, a very hard process… Just nervous with all this random soreness…. aches. I do not get the best night sleeps, I wake up sometimes 1 or 2 times. I am trying to correct all that. Any feedback would be great. I would like to try to get back to better lifestyle if I can. I am a 32/going to be 33 male. Any feedback or help is greatly appreciated.

Hi @mikeyp87, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Glad you decided to join in on the conversations. I understand being nervous about random aches and pains throughout your body. When you don't know what is wrong, it can be troubling thinking about all the different possibilities. I'd like to invite @parus, @jenniferhunter, @bill54321, @donfeld and @quark to the conversation as they have all had neck/back/shoulder issues and can perhaps lend some advice. I have also tagged your discussion in the spine health group located here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/spine-health/ so that others may follow your inquiry.

You might be interested in a discussion that was speaking on a similar topic.
– Ongoing left shoulder pain now also occurring in right side of neck: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/ongoing-left-shoulder-pain-now-also-occuring-in-right-side-of-neck/

You might also like to read an article entitled Neck and Shoulder Pain: Causes, Remedies, Treatment: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-causes-concurrent-neck-and-shoulder-pain-and-how-do-i-treat-it

@mikeyp87, I would venture to say that the pain may be caused from the herniations in your neck. Did you ever follow up with the physician who ordered it and seek treatment?

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I had shoulder pain for a couple of weeks, then I had my heart attack, my doctors said my body was telling me something bad was going to happen, I just didnt listen, this was not a typical heart attack pain but had I seen a doctor it might of prevented my attack good luck dave

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I guess I am a bit confused. Exactly what did the MRI show? Ruptured aka herniated disc(s)? Or bulging discs (pressing on spinal nerves in one spot but not truly ruptured)? Any mention of spinal stenosis? That is where the bony canal the spinal cord passes through is narrowed, putting pressure on the cord. I have had a disc(s) removal and fusion on my neck in 2010 for ruptured discs and now have severe spinal stenosis and collapsed discs above/below my neck fusion site. My neck makes lots of grating and cracking noises. I get neck and upper back/ shoulder discomfort. Sounds like you need to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon to give you specifics.

Good luck and keep trying to lose weight. It will help overall and IF you were to need surgery, makes things much safer overall! (I was a recovery room RN.)

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@mikeyp87 It sounds like you may have some spine issues. Can you provide details of what the MRI report said? I am a Mayo spine surgery patient and had a collapsed disc and bone spurs that pressed into my spinal cord in my neck, and I also have thoracic outlet syndrome that makes my neck and shoulders tight. I had neck muscle spasms because of the spine issues that would move my vertebrae out of alignment. Having spine surgery helped a lot. For years (pre-surgery) if I turned my head, I could feel a dull click and what I was feeling was the bulging disc rubbing. Sometimes there was more of a crunching noise and sometimes painful if it caught, and that was the facet joints grinding on each other. There was more pressure on the facet joints as the disc collapsed because things got closer together and at the time I had surgery, it had collapsed about 50 % and this wear causes arthritis in the joints. I had a whiplash injury about 20 years prior that caused C5/C6 to bulge and likely caused small cracks in the outer fibrous layer of the disc. With age, discs get drier and those cracks can open up causing herniation when the jelly like nucleus can squeeze out through the cracks. The body tries to stabilize this by growing bone spurs and that is caused by uneven pressure on the vertebrae above and below that injured disk.

What I might suggest to you now (if you are able) is to walk in order to build core strength which will support your spine and it will help you loose weight. Can you get up each day and walk around the block before breakfast? If you make that a daily habit, you'll feel better, reduce stress, get in better shape and you might improve your blood pressure readings. That will prepare you and make you healthier if you do need spine surgery. Other health issues are always a factor when considering surgery. You may also want to work with a physical therapist because undoubtedly, you have tight neck and shoulder muscles and may be having spasms. If you have had a neck injury like a whiplash, you could have thoracic outlet syndrome too, and physical therapy can help that. My PT does myofascial release which has helped my TOS and helped my neck before and after cervical surgery by making the muscle looser so it was easier for the surgeon, and for helping release tight surgical scar tissue after and get my neck moving properly. TOS causes compression of nerves and/or blood vessels as they pass from the neck and between the rib cage and collar bone. It causes a heavy or tingling feeling in the arms and can cause scapular pain and my hands used to get cold and turn blue.

I can also tell you as a patient, I would not have been first in line to ask for surgery. Actually I was turned away by 5 surgeons before I came to Mayo because they didn't understand my symptoms, and for 2 years I just got worse. I was loosing the coordination in my arms because of spinal cord compression and I am an artist, so I was faced with a tough choice of face my fear to have decompression surgery or loose my talent and ability that I had worked so hard for among other issues. I knew I could not allow my fear to make that choice, so I did everything I could to confront and defeat my fear and it worked. I was able to go into surgery calmly and confident, and had great results. You have to want success and do everything you can to make it happen. It also was not as bad as I had imagined it to be, and I woke up from surgery and the pain I had lived with was gone. The pain I had then was from the incision and surgical path. Because I wanted a fusion without hardware, I wore a hard collar for 3 months until my spine fused, and then I had to rehab because of the weakness caused by not using muscles for 3 months, but it was all worth it.

You should ask for a new MRI because a lot can change in 2 years. They also have open MRIs if that would help you. I do fine in an MRI and I can actually feel the beam passing through my body and can figure out what direction it was going. I asked and that was confirmed by the tech after the test, so that was kind of interesting to me. If you can focus on something like that or visualize being somewhere you would like to be, it helps get through some difficult tests. I understand being nervous, but realize that you are in charge and are the one to make the choices if you are headed for surgery. You should be able to choose your surgeon, and hire the very best one for the job. Look at it like a job interview and you are empowered with the choice. Not having surgery is also a choice and it can have consequences. When discs collapse, your spine can fuse itself because of bone remodeling, and it may not be in a good position, can cause nerve compression, and could become an inoperable problem later. It's best to be in charge and find out your status now, then do your research about your condition and find the best doctors to help. Always check if a doctor and hospital are in network first with your health insurance as well as getting orders pre-certified with your insurance for tests like MRIs. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. I am happy to help.

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@wisco50

I guess I am a bit confused. Exactly what did the MRI show? Ruptured aka herniated disc(s)? Or bulging discs (pressing on spinal nerves in one spot but not truly ruptured)? Any mention of spinal stenosis? That is where the bony canal the spinal cord passes through is narrowed, putting pressure on the cord. I have had a disc(s) removal and fusion on my neck in 2010 for ruptured discs and now have severe spinal stenosis and collapsed discs above/below my neck fusion site. My neck makes lots of grating and cracking noises. I get neck and upper back/ shoulder discomfort. Sounds like you need to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon to give you specifics.

Good luck and keep trying to lose weight. It will help overall and IF you were to need surgery, makes things much safer overall! (I was a recovery room RN.)

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Thanks for your note. I had to login to my patient portal and try to get a copy….. of the notes. This is what I found, not sure if this will help?

Notes: C3-C4 poserior central disc herniation, straightening of cervical lordosis. MRI 11/10/2017. Start PT, ortho eval, he will let me know who he wants to see.

As far as the weight loss, taking that up seriously to help with as much as possible. Before COVID, I started very nicely but then fell when they locked everything down. I will start back up… to become active. I have not done PT.

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@jenniferhunter

@mikeyp87 It sounds like you may have some spine issues. Can you provide details of what the MRI report said? I am a Mayo spine surgery patient and had a collapsed disc and bone spurs that pressed into my spinal cord in my neck, and I also have thoracic outlet syndrome that makes my neck and shoulders tight. I had neck muscle spasms because of the spine issues that would move my vertebrae out of alignment. Having spine surgery helped a lot. For years (pre-surgery) if I turned my head, I could feel a dull click and what I was feeling was the bulging disc rubbing. Sometimes there was more of a crunching noise and sometimes painful if it caught, and that was the facet joints grinding on each other. There was more pressure on the facet joints as the disc collapsed because things got closer together and at the time I had surgery, it had collapsed about 50 % and this wear causes arthritis in the joints. I had a whiplash injury about 20 years prior that caused C5/C6 to bulge and likely caused small cracks in the outer fibrous layer of the disc. With age, discs get drier and those cracks can open up causing herniation when the jelly like nucleus can squeeze out through the cracks. The body tries to stabilize this by growing bone spurs and that is caused by uneven pressure on the vertebrae above and below that injured disk.

What I might suggest to you now (if you are able) is to walk in order to build core strength which will support your spine and it will help you loose weight. Can you get up each day and walk around the block before breakfast? If you make that a daily habit, you'll feel better, reduce stress, get in better shape and you might improve your blood pressure readings. That will prepare you and make you healthier if you do need spine surgery. Other health issues are always a factor when considering surgery. You may also want to work with a physical therapist because undoubtedly, you have tight neck and shoulder muscles and may be having spasms. If you have had a neck injury like a whiplash, you could have thoracic outlet syndrome too, and physical therapy can help that. My PT does myofascial release which has helped my TOS and helped my neck before and after cervical surgery by making the muscle looser so it was easier for the surgeon, and for helping release tight surgical scar tissue after and get my neck moving properly. TOS causes compression of nerves and/or blood vessels as they pass from the neck and between the rib cage and collar bone. It causes a heavy or tingling feeling in the arms and can cause scapular pain and my hands used to get cold and turn blue.

I can also tell you as a patient, I would not have been first in line to ask for surgery. Actually I was turned away by 5 surgeons before I came to Mayo because they didn't understand my symptoms, and for 2 years I just got worse. I was loosing the coordination in my arms because of spinal cord compression and I am an artist, so I was faced with a tough choice of face my fear to have decompression surgery or loose my talent and ability that I had worked so hard for among other issues. I knew I could not allow my fear to make that choice, so I did everything I could to confront and defeat my fear and it worked. I was able to go into surgery calmly and confident, and had great results. You have to want success and do everything you can to make it happen. It also was not as bad as I had imagined it to be, and I woke up from surgery and the pain I had lived with was gone. The pain I had then was from the incision and surgical path. Because I wanted a fusion without hardware, I wore a hard collar for 3 months until my spine fused, and then I had to rehab because of the weakness caused by not using muscles for 3 months, but it was all worth it.

You should ask for a new MRI because a lot can change in 2 years. They also have open MRIs if that would help you. I do fine in an MRI and I can actually feel the beam passing through my body and can figure out what direction it was going. I asked and that was confirmed by the tech after the test, so that was kind of interesting to me. If you can focus on something like that or visualize being somewhere you would like to be, it helps get through some difficult tests. I understand being nervous, but realize that you are in charge and are the one to make the choices if you are headed for surgery. You should be able to choose your surgeon, and hire the very best one for the job. Look at it like a job interview and you are empowered with the choice. Not having surgery is also a choice and it can have consequences. When discs collapse, your spine can fuse itself because of bone remodeling, and it may not be in a good position, can cause nerve compression, and could become an inoperable problem later. It's best to be in charge and find out your status now, then do your research about your condition and find the best doctors to help. Always check if a doctor and hospital are in network first with your health insurance as well as getting orders pre-certified with your insurance for tests like MRIs. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. I am happy to help.

Jump to this post

Thanks so much! I think it is more my neck/spine then anymore more. The other pain I feel just radiates. My kids can jump on my back and then I know later in the day or next I will feel it coming. Even sitting on the floor is sometimes tight, I get up and stretch… and I hear all this cracking. It is weird. I posted above a report from the OPEN MRI, I did…. **Notes: C3-C4 poserior central disc herniation, straightening of cervical lordosis. MRI 11/10/2017. Start PT, ortho eval, he will let me know who he wants to see.**

I am thinking of hitting the cardio early in the morning again, I was even slowly doing small weights and feeling okay. I was saying to myself while lifting a box a few nights probably about 15-20 pounds from my front door around to my garage…… My arms feel so weak, can this be linked? I think I should even start some minor PT. I went to a Chiro….. they put this machine on me that felt like it was pulling me (guess loosened me up)…. then did some cracking. It was okay.

Thoughts?

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@mikeyp87

Thanks so much! I think it is more my neck/spine then anymore more. The other pain I feel just radiates. My kids can jump on my back and then I know later in the day or next I will feel it coming. Even sitting on the floor is sometimes tight, I get up and stretch… and I hear all this cracking. It is weird. I posted above a report from the OPEN MRI, I did…. **Notes: C3-C4 poserior central disc herniation, straightening of cervical lordosis. MRI 11/10/2017. Start PT, ortho eval, he will let me know who he wants to see.**

I am thinking of hitting the cardio early in the morning again, I was even slowly doing small weights and feeling okay. I was saying to myself while lifting a box a few nights probably about 15-20 pounds from my front door around to my garage…… My arms feel so weak, can this be linked? I think I should even start some minor PT. I went to a Chiro….. they put this machine on me that felt like it was pulling me (guess loosened me up)…. then did some cracking. It was okay.

Thoughts?

Jump to this post

@mikeyp87 It sounds like your report said to do physical therapy and get an orthopedic spine evaluation and you were going to let your doctor know who you wanted to see. That record is 2 years old. Did you follow up with a spine surgeon for an opinion? If you have not, I would recommend that you do.

Likely they will order new MRI imaging because a lot can change in 2 years. You may have bone spurs growing next to the herniated discs and I saw mine double in size on my MRI in just 9 months. Physical therapy will help your condition, but at a certain point you'll stop progressing from the spine issues. I would not recommend a chiropractor manipulation of your spine. If you have a disc osteophyte complex (disc + bone spurs) in contact with your spinal cord, that can do damage when suddenly something is forced to change position, and you need current imaging to know the extent of it. A physical therapist or chiropractor should not be treating your spine if they don't know the current condition of your spine. You could also have some instability where one vertebrae will slip past another one which will effectively make the spinal canal smaller and anything that could be in contact with the spinal cord will press further toward it. I had that situation with 2mm of slipping in my collapsed disc and it affected my walking ability. I had an uneven gait when the alignment slipped, and when my therapist realigned things gently with muscle contractions (not spine manipulations), then I walked normally again. I did have muscle loss in my shoulders and arms and was loosing coordination because of spinal cord compression and lost about half of my muscle. Since spine surgery 4 years ago, I have regained muscle, but not all that I lost. My arms lost their coordination and strength and surgery gave that back to me. I would have done this surgery a lot sooner, but I spent 2 years looking for a surgeon willing to help me. I'll post my patient story below. I also had pain all over my body from cord compression. I did not have any issues at the nerve roots.

You should look for a good surgeon now. Some spine surgeons do not want to work on the upper levels at C3/C4 or above, so you need a very skilled surgeon and it would be a waste of your time to chase doctors who might back out of helping you. If you can be seen at Mayo that would be my recommendation, and certainly you can find a lot of medical talent there. I was turned down by 5 local surgeons who were capable of fixing my spine issues, but they didn't understand my symptoms and refused to help, and I came to Mayo and got the help I needed. You need to advocate for yourself and you don't want to end up with emergency surgery and have to accept the surgeon on call for where ever you are. They could be good, but maybe not as good as they should be and it's better if you can choose the procedure that you think is best. You want a surgeon who only does spine surgery. Both orthopedic and neurosurgeons do spine surgery. If there is no fluid space left around your spinal cord, you would be at increased risk of paralysis if you get injured in a fall or car accident. The spinal cord injuries can be permanent. This is why you need to know your status and stay in charge of this decision. Let me know if I can answer any questions.
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/

Liked by migizii, bustrbrwn22

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@mikeyp87

Thanks so much! I think it is more my neck/spine then anymore more. The other pain I feel just radiates. My kids can jump on my back and then I know later in the day or next I will feel it coming. Even sitting on the floor is sometimes tight, I get up and stretch… and I hear all this cracking. It is weird. I posted above a report from the OPEN MRI, I did…. **Notes: C3-C4 poserior central disc herniation, straightening of cervical lordosis. MRI 11/10/2017. Start PT, ortho eval, he will let me know who he wants to see.**

I am thinking of hitting the cardio early in the morning again, I was even slowly doing small weights and feeling okay. I was saying to myself while lifting a box a few nights probably about 15-20 pounds from my front door around to my garage…… My arms feel so weak, can this be linked? I think I should even start some minor PT. I went to a Chiro….. they put this machine on me that felt like it was pulling me (guess loosened me up)…. then did some cracking. It was okay.

Thoughts?

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Are you employed by Mayo Clinic?

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@kengroninga

Are you employed by Mayo Clinic?

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No why

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@kengroninga

Are you employed by Mayo Clinic?

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@kengroninga I am not sure if your question was directed at me because it came right after my post. I am not a Mayo employee. I am a Mayo patient who had difficulty getting surgical help locally, and then came to Mayo. I was impressed with the quality of my care and recovery, and because of that experience, I joined Connect to help other patients. I am a fine artist who was loosing the ability to continue painting, and having spine surgery gave that back to me and completely changed my life. I recently came back to Mayo for ankle surgery. I know that not everyone can come to Mayo, and there are other facilities that can also offer excellent help. By coming to Mayo, I learned what is possible and I want to help patients advocate for the best care they can get wherever that may be. I do also have a biology background and understand medical literature and sometimes doctors ask me if I work in healthcare, so possibly that may give that impression.

Liked by migizii

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@jenniferhunter

@kengroninga I am not sure if your question was directed at me because it came right after my post. I am not a Mayo employee. I am a Mayo patient who had difficulty getting surgical help locally, and then came to Mayo. I was impressed with the quality of my care and recovery, and because of that experience, I joined Connect to help other patients. I am a fine artist who was loosing the ability to continue painting, and having spine surgery gave that back to me and completely changed my life. I recently came back to Mayo for ankle surgery. I know that not everyone can come to Mayo, and there are other facilities that can also offer excellent help. By coming to Mayo, I learned what is possible and I want to help patients advocate for the best care they can get wherever that may be. I do also have a biology background and understand medical literature and sometimes doctors ask me if I work in healthcare, so possibly that may give that impression.

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What I wanted was to be put in touch with somebody in the Pain Clinic.

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@kengroninga

What I wanted was to be put in touch with somebody in the Pain Clinic.

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@kengroninga, here is more information about Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center
https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/pain-rehabilitation-center/sections/overview/ovc-20481691
To find out more about the center, you can call Mayo Clinic. See the contact information here: http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63

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